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Women General Practitioners in Australia-Vols I and II


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Kilmartin, MR 2006 , 'Women General Practitioners in Australia-Vols I and II', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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This thesis addresses the key issues in the professional and non-professional lives of
women general practitioners (WGPs) in Australia. It investigates their socio-political
place within in the medical profession, organisations and Colleges particularly
relating to General Practice and leads on to proposals that may ameliorate the
dominant masculine culture that pervades the medical profession.
The investigation comprised a Delphi Study involving 40 WGPs and semi-structured
interviews with 25 eminent General Practitioners (15 women, 10 men), both
components including a breadth of geographical and work-backgrounds. The two
studies were underpinned by relevant literature, history and sociological theory.
The Delphi Study highlighted the value of the whole-person concept and identified
key issues that affect the professional and non-professional lives of WGPs.
Developing satisfying relationships with partners and children and preserving their
health and wellbeing were of primary importance to WGPs as wives, mothers and
professionals. The women sought job satisfaction and most displayed distinctively
non-masculine models of work. Male domination was evident in all aspects of the
lives of the WGPs taking part in this study.
Interviews with the eminent GPs highlighted the existence of masculine power and
patriarchy in the hierarchical structures of organisations of General Practice and in
the General Practice environment. These interviews also provided insights to how
the WGPs coped with the inequities they encountered.
It is concluded that we cannot examine the professional life ofWGPs in isolation and
problems of gender equity in the medical profession must be recognised as a first step
towards their rectification. The thesis highlights the problems faced by WGPs in
Australia and provides proposals for fostering a culture of inclusivity of both sexes in
medical practice. There are indications that generational change will bring
improvements to domestic problems and inappropriate work professional practices
together with a culture inclusive of both male and female GPs.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Kilmartin, MR
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